Indian Student Wins the National Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award for his Wind Energy harnessing project using Kite

A new take on wind energy is starting to emerge and it could fill the sails of wind power backers. Traditional wind energy relies on turbines to create power from wind, but a new group of companies is increasingly looking at variations on an old children’s toy to generate power; the kite.   

The main question is – Could kites hold the key to cleaner, cheaper energy?  

Kite-based wind power is a radical innovation in wind energy generation. It represents an opportunity to save money, and decrease power costs by rethinking the wind energy supply chain.

Traditional wind turbines have to be installed offshore using expensive boats and massive amounts of steel and concrete to secure the tower. Kite wind power in contrast is likely to be much less costly to install.  

A 22-year-old student Roystan Vijay Castelino from the Karkala’s Srinivas Institute of Technolgy has done the city and his hometown proud by winning the national Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award, for his project on producing high-altitude wind energy using a kite, which he claims to be a revolution in the field of renewable energy.  

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Image credit: Bangalore Mirror  

His kite works on the principle of converting kinetic energy (pulling force) to rotational motion.  

The award was presented on March 13 in a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, by Dr. R A Mashelkar, FRS, chairperson, National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF) in the MLM (More from Less for Many) categories. The event had been inaugurated by President of India Pranab Mukherjee on March 12. Out of 2,363 nominations, 43 projects were selected from different fields, as reported by Daiji World.  

Roystan Castelino, son of Marcel and Agnes Castelino from Nakre village of Karkala, did his schooling in Kannada medium schools in Nakre. He then did his PU studies at St Aloysius PU College and joined Srinivas Institute of Technology, Valachil to pursue engineering.  

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He says that the project was undertaken in 2015 as part of his final year BE (electrical and electronics engineering) under the guidance of Prof Lokesh B. The objective was to increase the efficiency of wind-power generation, make it more economical, and help in rural electrification.  

Under the existing wind power system, trees are often cut and windmills have an impact on the ecology. Roystan wanted to find an alternative solution that could be both economical and environment-friendly, and one fine day, when he was at the beach, he stumbled upon an idea when he saw a man controlling a kite. Wind energy using a kite works on the principle of converting kinetic energy (pulling force) to rotational motion.   

With an increase in altitude, the wind increases, and this can generate more power compared to traditional wind turbines. This is trapped in a power kite and harvesting of energy is possible even at inaccessible locations such as offshore and elevated areas and at lesser installation costs.  

The four-line power or parafoil kite was ordered from China and materials used for the project were bicycle parts, crank wheels (which formed the chain drive), and bicycle sprockets. The generator is made by modifying the ceiling fan with permanent magnets. Threads are wound over the rims of the bicycle for easy control.   

The wireless transmitter/receiver circuit controls the motor for handling the kite and for winding back the thread. Chain drive is used to increase the speed economically. Using a figure 8 shape in the sky, energy is maximized and then stored in the battery in the power phase, while in the recovery phase, 17 W of energy is spent for winding and controlling the thread.   

The project was tested using a 4.5 msq kite on the beach, where the wind speed was approximately 10 m/s. During this test, the power output obtained was 300 W.  

Castelino’s idea won the Project of the Year Award by the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology contest conducted by the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru last year. He has applied for a patent for his invention and wants to call it Winds of Change.  

Clean and sustainable, the potential of wind energy is considerable. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that wind energy is developing towards becoming a, “mainstream, competitive and reliable power technology.”  

A 2013 report from the IEA stated that wind power could generate as much as 18 percent of the planet’s electricity by 2050, up from 2.6 percent.  

Tidal, wind, and solar renewable energies are the greatest gifts of nature to all of us. Still, the researchers are struggling to completely make use of it because of their unsteady existence in nature.   

Kite will fly so nicely during the steady wind. But most of the time there won’t be enough wind in the night to keep the kite flying also it keeps changing its direction. It is a challenge to use kites in this circumstance and get the required constant energy output, all the time. Anyway he has taken this challenge, continues to make his project overcome all these problems, it will be a great gift to this world in the form of green energy.  

Congratulation to Roystan! Credit goes to his parents and the teachers of the college who have supported him to achieve this goal. (Source: Daiji World)


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